The Preschool Lab is an integral part of the Psychology Program's laboratory facilities. College students are recruited campus wide to gain experience working with our preschool children. Student involvement may include volunteering in areas such as computer, foreign language, art, or creative movement enrichment, joining our teaching team as a college aide, teaching lessons as part of a music education class, or becoming an intern and learning about the field of early childhood education. In return, our preschoolers experience a warm and nurturing environment with many stimulating activities available for them to explore.
Every semester we recruit two college students to become part of our teaching team. The student aides work either in the T/Th or M/W/F class and must be available on those days from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. These are paid positions. Student aides are an important part of our preschool teaching team. They work in the classroom with the teachers, as well as prepare curricular materials. Participation in a training session, observation, and in-service meeting is required of these students. Please contact Dr. Medvin, Preschool Director (ext. 7360), during the pre-registration period prior to the semester in which you would like to work.
Volunteer Teaching Opportunities
Music - provided on Monday and/or Tuesday from 11:15 - 11:30 a.m. Age appropriate songs, chants and games are taught during this time. Students are invited to use any of the music books, songs, tapes and instruments we have at the preschool.
Creative Movement - Children develop large motor skills during these sessions at Old '77 gym. Student volunteers (either one or a team of two) are asked to plan and execute a creative movement class every Wednesday from 11:00 - 11:40 a.m. (fall semester- October to December; spring semester January through March). Equipment may be used from Old '77 gym, and we provide music and theme ideas.
Foreign Language - Every semester a volunteer in each class is invited to introduce children to foreign languages. Color words, numbers, names and songs are familiar and fun beginnings to a new language. Teaching through songs, games and stories initiate interest in new words. Students may volunteer one or two times a week.
Learning Center Volunteers
These positions are available from 9:45-10:45 a.m.
Computer - Computer volunteers are needed Monday through Friday. To promote socialization at the computer, one student is required per day to facilitate turn taking, problem-solving and group dynamics. A computer training session is provided to help students become familiar with the classroom computer, our software and our philosophy.
Observation - Students learn to observe and document children's behaviors and dialogue by in-class or observation room sites. When you volunteer in any area of the preschool, you may be asked to observe. Observational guidelines and examples or written documentation are used as training material.
Special Needs - One volunteer each semester may work one-on-one with a child(ren) who have specific needs (ie. facilitating social play, help with math skills, fine motor development, color identification, or increasing attention span). This opportunity may vary from semester to semester as needed.
Woodworking - One day a week, in each class, a volunteer may facilitate the wood working table. Hammering with nails, sanding, using a hand drill, sawing and wearing safety glasses may be the simple tasks involved in this area.
Internships are available at the Preschool Lab for academic credit. Opportunities are flexible and may depend on on-going projects. For example, a senior elementary education student assisted with an e-mail project to a preschool in England.
The student intern in is responsible for interviewing at the preschool during the prior semester, completing an application, and gaining approval from his or her advisor for academic credit. Please contact Dr. Medvin, Preschool Director (ext. 7360), during the pre-registration period prior to the semester or time period in which you would like to work.
Students have many opportunities to become involved in research with children at an undergraduate level in the psychology program curriculum. All projects are supervised by psychology faculty, with additional approval from the College's Institutional Review Board when needed.
Some examples include:
- conducting group research projects for the course 'Childhood and Adolescence'
- designing and conducting senior capstone research with children and/or adolescents
- collaborating with faculty on research projects
- acting as data coders for senior capstone projects